Session Descriptions

Virtual Education Session Details

The League's National Conference Education Program includes 13 sessions on reopening, technology, diversity, and insurance along with important reopening best practices from around the nation, offering something for everyone.

Click on each speaker's name to read their full bio.

All Education Sessions are presented virtually.

2021 National Conference Sponsors

Last Updated 07.09.2021


Ask the Experts: Historic Theatre Renovation 101

Ask the Experts: Historic Theatre Renovation 101
Monday, July 12, 2021
3:45 - 5:15 PM Eastern
Live Event - Unlimited Attendance

Thinking about acquiring, restoring, and revitalizing a historic theatre? Already have one and need some help? Ask your questions to a team of leading experts in theatre planning, design, operation and fundraising. This session will help historic theatre owners, community leaders, board members, senior staff and others who are considering, beginning or participating in the renovation of a historic theatre develop a clear understanding of their role in the process.

Presenters:

Robert L. Bull, Jr. - President, The Compass Group, Inc.
Michael DiBlasi, ASTC - Partner, Schuler Shook
Molly Fortune - Executive Director, Newberry Opera House, Newberry, SC
Michael Schnoering, FAIA - Partner, Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC
Alec Stoll, ASTC - Partner, Stages Consultants

Back to the Theater: Best Practices for Managers and Leaders

Back to the Theater: Best Practices for Managers and Leaders
Monday, July 12, - Wednesday, July 14, 2021
12:00 - 6:00 PM Eastern
Offstage & Online: On Demand Education Session

"Running Theaters," initially published in 2005, is a best practices guide to the operation of theaters told through the words of the best venue operators in North America. The second edition of the book, published just as the pandemic arrived, includes updated insights in such areas as safety and security; diversity, equity and inclusion; and community engagement. But now the question is how to reopen venues to be safe, relevant and sustainable.

The session suggests that the pandemic has accelerated many of the trends observed in the field in the first and second editions of the book, and that successful leaders and managers are finding a way forward in these challenging times using these best practices. The session provides strategies for venue operators to re-open, including suggestions and insights on how to re-engage with audiences, programming strategies, how to continue to benefit from streaming, and how to plan for sustainable operations through a combination of earned and contributed income. Participants also had the opportunity to ask specific questions on reopening strategies to the panel of experts.

Presenters:

Allison Larena - President & CEO, Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, NJ
Philip Morris - CEO, Proctors, Schenectady, NY
Christine Sandin - Artistic Director, Sunset Center, Carmel, CA
Duncan Webb - President, Webb Management Services, New York, NY

Curtain Call: Dressing Up Your Theatre

Curtain Call: Dressing Up Your Theatre
Monday, July 12, - Wednesday, July 14, 2021
12:00 - 6:00 PM Eastern
Offstage & Online: On Demand Education Session

This session addresses how to better use fabrics, curtains, and other architectural textiles to enhance your space. These fabrics are the final touches that bring historic theatres back to life, and they are often forgotten about during renovations. The information provided by this panel of experts will focus around:

  • The Impact of Fabrics in Theatres: Aesthetic - the final touch; Safety/Fireproofing; and Performance/Acoustics
  • Painted/Embroidered Draperies: Conserving and Recreating
  • Fire Curtains: Quick Facts; Old – Conserving; New - Creating and Recreating
  • Beyond the Main Curtain: Lambriquens, etc.; Acoustic, Damask, and other wall coverings

The panelists provide the audience with a general understanding of the history and impact of fabrics in theaters, and applicable ways they can be used in their own spaces. Learning objectives further include points on the safety and acoustic benefits that can be achieved with various soft goods. This information centers around the discussion of the expert panelists, who each have a long history of experience in this field. An accompanying PowerPoint is included to illustrate the points made.

Presenters:

Jennifer Tankleff - President & Co-owner, IWEISS
Terry VanderWell - Senior Business Development Executive, EverGreene Architectural Arts

Fundraising: Cashing in After COVID-19

Fundraising: Cashing in After
COVID-19
Monday, July 12, 2021
1:00 - 2:15 PM Eastern
Live Event - Unlimited Attendance

While resources may still seem scarce reopening after the pandemic, patrons are eager to reconnect and resume their philanthropic relationships. What did we learn from the past 12 months that will inform fundraising in the coming year? How might my script and direction change to gain the interests of donors? Is it too soon to start asking for major gifts to support larger projects? Join us for a lively discussion to hear how fundraising has changed for the good of our theatres!

Presenters:

Robert L. Bull, Jr. - President, The Compass Group, Inc.

Historic Tax Credits in The ‘New Normal’ after COVID-19 and Tax Changes -- Still a Very Powerful Tool in the Project Financing Tool Kit

Historic Tax Credits in The ‘New Normal’ after COVID-19 and Tax Changes -- Still a Very Powerful Tool in the Project Financing Tool Kit
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
1:15 - 2:30 PM Eastern
Live Event - Unlimited Attendance

Refresher on Historic Tax Credits, how they work, and what these Credits can be worth after the 2017 Tax legislation and in the post-COVID market. Clarification of how Nonprofit organizations (as well as “For-Profits”) can qualify for these credits, the impact on organization paradigms, and guidance on where to “start.”

Often, Theatres, especially Nonprofits, miss the opportunity to avail themselves of Historic Tax Credits. This session will attempt to break down the process, the structure, and the approach to successfully benefit from these credits. Other considerations to be addressed before reaching out to an Historic Tax Credit Investor will be outlined. A goal of this session is to demystify some of the process and encourage our Historic Theatres to use this powerful tool.

Presenters:

Darlene Smolik - President, Plymouth Soundings, LLC

Hooray for Hollywood! A Panel Discussion About Film

Hooray for Hollywood! A Panel Discussion About Film
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
1:15 - 2:30 PM Eastern
Live Event - Unlimited Attendance

Join your peers from around the nation for a lively discussion about film houses returning to [the new] normal. What films are garnering attention and what programming changes were made during the pandemic that will carry forward? There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

Presenters:

John Bell - President & CEO, Tampa Theatre, Tampa, FL
Dan Friedman - Director of Development, Bedford Playhouse, Bedford, NY
Rebecca Madding - Executive Director, Maiden Alley Cinema, Paducah, KY
Stephanie Silverman - Executive Director, Belcourt Theater, Nashville, TN moderator

LHAT Happy Hour: Employee Retention Tax Credits (ERTC)

LHAT Happy Hour: Employee Retention Tax Credits (ERTC)
Monday, July 12, - Wednesday, July 14, 2021
12:00 - 6:00 PM Eastern
Offstage & Online: On Demand Education Session

LHAT CEO Ken Stein brings your attention to another relief effort that should benefit many LHAT members. The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) can be used by theatre members as well as allied members. This program could mean as much as $19,000 per full-time employee equivalent in relief funding for qualifying organizations.

Presenters:

Ken Stein - President & CEO, League of Historic American Theatres, Austin, TX

Nonprofit Board Governance Best Practices

Nonprofit Board Governance Best Practices
Monday, July 12, - Wednesday, July 14, 2021
12:00 - 6:00 PM Eastern
Offstage & Online: On Demand Education Session

(An encore presentation from the 2020 Annual Conference)

Boards can lift an organization up, but they can also unknowingly tear them down. Who runs the organization? Are term limits good? What are bylaws and do we really have to follow them? What does fiduciary responsibility mean? What is the difference between an operational board and a governing board? Learn about best practices around governance, policy and board/staff relations from Ken Stein, CEO of the League, who has over 25 years of nonprofit management experience and is certified in Board Governance Best Practices by the nation's leading non-profit board resource, BoardSource. While this topic was not designed to discuss COVID-19 issues specifically, Ken discusses how board governance best practices can help you navigate challenging times. The session is primarily for theatre executive level staff and board members, but anyone wishing to know more about how boards work will leave with valuable information.

The presenter, Ken Stein, has consulted with numerous non-profit arts organizations and has presented at several national and regional conferences. As a former historic theatre executive as well as a board member for other arts organizations, Ken sees Board Governance from both sides and attempts to demonstrate how theatre executives and board members can work together collaboratively and effectively with less stress and more fun.

Presenters:

Ken Stein - President & CEO, League of Historic American Theatres, Austin, TX

Raise your EQ: Racism 101

Raise your EQ: Racism 101
Monday, July 12, 2021
1:00 - 3:30 PM Eastern
Live Event - Limited Availability

A 2.5 hour session about Equity, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion led by expert consultants from Equity Quotient, a national consulting firm providing training and organizational transformation to nonprofits.

Please note:

  1. This session has limited capacity. Attendees will be required to click the link provided at the given time and will be granted access on a first come, first served basis until all seats are taken.
  2. This session will be almost identical to the Racism 101 session provided by EQ at the 2020 LHAT Conference. If you attended the session in 2020, please consider not attending the session this year to allow another member to have the experience. Thank you!

Presenters:

Keryl McCord - CEO, Equity Quotient
Kim Pevia - Equity Quotient

Retooling Digital Marketing Strategies for a Privacy Focused World

Retooling Digital Marketing Strategies for a Privacy Focused World
Monday, July 12, - Wednesday, July 14, 2021
12:00 - 6:00 PM Eastern
Offstage & Online: On Demand Education Session

In recent months, the social media giants have made some major changes to how digital marketing operates in response to calls for more privacy. With these fundamental shifts in technology, this team of experts shows you how to maximize your digital marketing budgets, drive revenue, and how to understand the impacts on how you measure ROI.

Presenters:

Courtney Barwick - Digital Marketing Manager, ETIX
Maddie Snider - Marketing Services Manager, ETIX

"Safe in Sound": Venue Reopening Guide

"Safe in Sound": Venue Reopening Guide
Monday, July 12, - Wednesday, July 14, 2021
12:00 - 6:00 PM Eastern
Offstage & Online: On Demand Education Session

An informative webinar in which attorney Steve Adelman of the Event Safety Alliance and LHAT CEO Ken Stein discuss and take questions about the CDC-reviewed Reopening Guide for venues entitled "Safe in Sound," released in May 2021.

As people in the U.S. continue to get vaccinated and cities and states begin to reopen, the National Independent Venue Association and Event Safety Alliance, in partnership with Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Coalition of Performing Arts Centers, League of Historic American Theatres, and National Independent Talent Organization, joined together to research, create and present "Safe in Sound," a free reopening checklist for the live entertainment industry. This toolkit was developed after consultation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and was based on the most up-to-date guidance and resources available at that time. It serves as the framework for venues and promoters to reopen fully as safely as possible.

Presenters:

Steven Adelman - Vice President, Event Safety Alliance & Attorney, Adelman Law Group, PLLC, Scottsdale, AZ

Silver Linings: A Panel Discussion about the Positive Outcomes on Historic Theatres from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Silver Linings: A Panel Discussion about the Positive Outcomes on Historic Theatres from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
3:00 - 4:30 PM Eastern
Live Event - Unlimited Availability

As much as we would all like to forget the last 15 months, there were some good things that happened while our stages were dark. Join your peers for an inspirational panel discussion about the things that went well and the skills we learned that can be applied going forward. Zooming, livestreaming, pop-ups, drive-ins, remote working, remote learning, forgetting to unmute your mic, forgetting to mute your mic… no wait. Not that last one. This is about the good stuff. Join us as we look for the Silver Linings.

Presenters:

Molly Fortune - Executive Director, Newberry Opera House, Newberry, SC
Rosemary Gill - Executive Director, Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, New Bedford, MA
Lynn Battle Green - Managing Director, Morton Theatre, Athens, GA
Kyle Schneider - Operating & Producing Manager, Raue Center for the Arts, Crystal Lake, IL
Chelsie Thompson - President, Renaissance Performing Arts Association, Mansfield, OH
Kelly Updike - President & CEO, Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne, IN

Who Knew? Discover from the Experts what an MBA Could Never Tell You About Running a Theatre

Who Knew? Discover from the Experts what an MBA Could Never Teach You About Running a Theatre
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
1:00 - 2:15 PM Eastern
Live Event - Unlimited Availability

We’ve all had them - those aha (or WTH) moments while trying to manage a historic theatre. No one told you this might require 2am settlements, artist meltdowns, show cancellations, boardroom drama or how to fit 10 pounds of potatoes onto your 5-pound stage. This humorous but helpful panel discussion features leaders who have seen it all. Learn from the experts by doing what they did… or maybe not doing what they did.

Presenters:

Becky Hancock - Executive Director, Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, TN
Laura Kratt - Executive Director, Appalachian Theatre of the High Country,Boone, NC
Björn Olsson - Executive Director, Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY